“ Even today, I sometimes think of the brief apparition of that stranger I caught in a private moment and of others who have mysteriously settled into my memory, like silent witnesses of my wanderings. “ – The Red Sofa
I believe, that you tend to learn a little more about yourself every time, you embark on a journey. This has been well reflected in the novel, The Red Sofa by Michele Lesbre. I read the English version of the novel translated by Nicole and David Ball. This book is available at any Seagull bookstore near you.
This is the journey of Anne, which has been described with sheer elegance and interspersed with episodic flashbacks; which reveals to the reader her personality, glimpses of her past lover and the bond which she shared with her friend Clemence.
Often in our overtly hectic schedules, we tend to neglect the little memories of our life which make it all the more precious. The story line follows the finer observations made by Anne and the deeper contemplation about life which she realizes throughout her quest to find her long-lost lover. From making a journey by train to an unknown land, to becoming habituated by the presence of her grim compartment partner; all these finer details reflect the beauty of the journey that she undertook.
A recurring theme which is common between Anne and her friend Clemence was the acceptance of lost love. Love is not only an emotion but also a moment to cherish for as long as one has it. It is difficult to find love and sustain it through the various ups and down; similarly it is equally difficult for people to cope- up with lost love at times. However, both the ladies have been portrayed as strong women, willing to live their lives with dignity and confidence. Though saddened momentarily on the mention of their unaccomplished relationships, the two women bonded over books and stories; over history, heroes and coffee. It is a symbol of strength possessed by women which is often overshadowed by the feeling of pity for their lost love by the onlookers.
Within the 110 pages of the book, The Red Sofa subtly teaches us some of the harshest truths of our lives and yet gives us hope to continue with it ; for life is short and must be lived with contentment rather than spending time grieving over the loss.